The religions are like the fingers of your hand,
spirituality is like the palm — where the fingers meet at their roots.
Practices overlap, connect, and can be shared in the palm of spirituality.
~ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Mary Ann and Frederic Brussat have created the Spirituality Practice website to inspire others by offering an immense and varied set of learning resources from world religions. Databases include their spiritually-based reviews of books and films (more than 3000), spiritual quotations classified in terms of 37 spiritual practices they have identified as common to the world religions, and pages devoted to master teachers living and historical.
The weekly newsletter invites readers to sample these resources with links to recently added information and to newly relevant material often creatively packaged in video/photography/sound along with quotations, poetry (sometimes their own), and prayers/blessings.
For a decade, I have taken two e-courses annually from their innovative series. Each course presents daily email messages for 21-40 days — with a published excerpt, reflection, practice suggestion, and opportunity to interact with others in practice circles. Themes of these e-courses fall into three categories of practicing spirituality: world religious traditions (e.g., practicing spirituality with Catholics, Buddhists); master teachers (e.g., Dalai Lama or Thomas Merton); or place, activity, relationship (e.g., in nature, at work, with friends).
This year the Brussats launched the much awaited Elder Spirituality Project. This emerging project will be most important for us @ Writing, Aging and Spirit. The project has begun with four e-courses on aging with spirit. Two are available on-demand: led by Angeles Arrien based on her book: The Second Half of Life: Opening the Eight Gates of Wisdom; and by William Martin, based on his book: The Sage’s Tao Te Ching. The two courses coming up in the fall are led by two of my favourite writers: Joan Chittister on her book The Gift of Years and Christina Baldwin based on her storytelling books, especially Storycatcher: Making Sense of Our Lives through the Power and Practice of Story.
Attitude is an important component of resilient aging. Older women have been re-interpreting the word ‘crone’ so that it becomes a rallying cry for positive aging. I recently saw this message on a bumper sticker :
CRONE — creative researcher of new experiences.
The work of writing can be for me, or very close to, the simple job of being:
by creative reflection and awareness to help life itself live in me.
~ Thomas Merton
They can be a great help –words.
They can become the spirit’s hands
and lift and caress you.
~ Meister Eckhart
Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder.
Help someone’s soul to heal.
We have all come to the right place.
We all sit in God’s classroom.
Now is the season to know
That everything you do
The spiritual quest is a journey without distance.
travel from where you are right now to where you have always been.
From ignorance to recognition, for all you do is see for the first time
what you have always been looking at.
~ Anthony De Mello
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With this photo from a summer walk at White Sands National Monument,
I bid you adieu until next time,